With two games left to play in the regular season, Kentucky could finish anywhere from fourth to ninth in the conference standings, which could mean the difference between playing first thing Thursday, last thing Thursday night, or, if all the dominos fall into place, Friday afternoon.
Before we dig into the scenarios, here are the current standings and seedings if the tournament started today.
Now, what has to happen for Kentucky to get out of Alabama’s half of the bracket? With the help of MRed’s SEC MBB Tournament Tiebreaker tool, I crunched the numbers.
Win out: Likely the 6-seed
If Kentucky beats Ole Miss and South Carolina, and every team ranked higher than their opponent in the Sagarin ratings wins, it will be the 6-seed playing 11-seed South Carolina late Thursday night.
|March 2 & 3||March 6 & 7|
|Kentucky beats Ole Miss||Kentucky beats South Carolina|
|LSU beats Vandy||Auburn beats Mississippi State|
|Alabama beats Auburn||Alabama beats Georgia|
|Arkansas beats South Carolina||Arkansas beats Texas A&M|
|Florida beats Missouri||LSU beats Missouri|
|Mississippi State beats Texas A&M||Ole Miss beats Vandy|
|Tennessee beats Florida|
I’ve run almost every scenario, and if the Cats win out, they will get the six seed.
Lose one: Likely the 7-seed
Drop either the Ole Miss or South Carolina games and you’re looking at the 7-seed playing 10-seed Georgia in the first game in the Thursday evening session.
There are some scenarios in which Kentucky would end up as the 8-seed if it loses one of two:
- Missouri beats Florida and/or LSU
- Mississippi State beats Auburn
So, back up to Alabama’s half of the bracket.
Lose both: Likely the 9-seed
Should Kentucky lose to both Ole Miss and South Carolina and every team ranked higher than their opponent in the Sagarin ratings wins, it will be the 9-seed playing 8-seed Missouri Thursday afternoon.
The Double-Bye Scenario
As we mentioned over the weekend, there is still a scenario in which Kentucky can end up with a double-bye, but it is very unlikely.
If all of that happens, this would be the draw:
Having to beat both LSU and Alabama just to get to the finals? Is that really better than the other scenarios?
If you could pick Kentucky’s path right now, which one would it be?